It amused me to no end when the feud between John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got real personal a few years ago. While much of it was obviously scripted, like everything else in the WWE, there was definite tension and real-life animosity there. One of the central sticking points of the feud, which seemed to come directly from Cena’s true feelings, was that Johnson had betrayed the WWE and its fans by crossing over into Hollywood and leaving them behind. Cena would constantly say he’d never leave and that the WWE Universe was his life.
And yet look at Cena now…
The wrestler, and longtime focal point of Vince McMahon’s promotion, has been slipping away an awful lot these last few years in order to film other non-wrestling projects. He’s scheduled to return to the WWE in January, just in time for the Royal Rumble and the Road To WrestleMania, but a new report from Variety reveals that he may disappear again shortly after that.
Variety has just announced that Cena has signed on to star in The Pact, a film about three parents who vow to work together to prevent their daughters from losing their virginities on prom night. He’d work opposite Leslie Mann (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad) in the movie, which will be directed by Kay Cannon.
Having taken time away from the WWE to film movies like Trainwreck, Sisters, and the TV series American Grit, Cena is quickly becoming more of a part-timer- Even as he rails against part-timers taking spots away from dedicated WWE talent!
A recent report revealed that Cena is apparently upset with McMahon for how much money and spotlight he’s throwing at guys like Brock Lesner and Bill Goldberg, who are only around on a very limited basis.
Maybe he’s just learning, the hard way, that Johnson had it right? That there’s a shelf life for professional wrestlers and that he’d be wise to set up a lucrative career away from the squared circle while he’s still in his physical prime? He seems to be making the same pivot Johnson did, but to far less fanfare.
At this rate, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Cena becomes a part-time special attraction, and then we’ll see how he feels about being so judgmental about the likes of Johnson, Goldberg, and Lesner over the years.
The funny thing is, under normal circumstances, no one would blame him for making that shift. It’s a smart move! But Cena has painted a big target on his back by acting like he’d never “go Hollywood.”